As I continue to work on things away from this blog (which is a collection of Free-Time/Casual Online Writing, Remarks, And Notes By ME Whelan) and continue to figure out what goes and what stays of my existing online-writing, the de-emphasizing of one or another continues as well....

Sunday, July 5, 2015

More Shifting Around Of Different Types Of Writing

As I continue to move any number of pieces of writing (or in some cases, "sort-of-writing, maybe" from one site/place or another,  I've got my "First-Hand Perspectives" blog looking kind of like a reproduction of my Bubblews account (sort of, but not entirely).   :/

I just thought I'd post this link to my most recent comments about that issue (even if it's only a temporary one - or not, who, in the Internet-writing/contributing world even knows these days).

It's my latest "FHP" post, ""Breaking Up The Bubblews Account Transfers..."

(I just figured, since the subject of "writing" is the point of this particular blog, including  that post might make some sense - at least for now.)

Breaking Up The Bubblews Account "Transfers" - Just Another Note About This Blog

While I don't want this blog to turn into (essentially) a reproduction of my Bubblews account, Bubblews (like HubPages) has made some dramatic changes over the last couple of years (few, even several, years in the case of HubPages; Bubblews is still only three (or so) years old).

There was one time when I didn't even know what people were "supposed to be writing" on Bubblews.  Then there was a time when a big change was made in the looks of the site and how people's home page/profile appeared.  At that time I decided - if nothing else - to limit the images that showed up with each of my posts because I figured my posts could be divided into three general categories.  Many old posts were hidden anyway.  With the changes, I just figured having limited "header" images gave a consistent look to the profile.  For the most part, many of my posts were more about the words than the need for images anyway.

Recently, Bubblews made yet another major change.  Now the "consistent-image-look/theme" isn't right any longer.  It isn't just the look of the site, but Bubblews has made it more clear what it is they want people to post (sort of, anyway).   The site has some (shall I say) "upheaval" in just the two years' since I've had my account there.  In any case (and with so much of my free-time writing or "other contributing"), I've got yet one other "bunch of mess" under yet another account/name.

Some of what I have on that site I will leave on the account (as long as the account, and site, are up and running).  As far as I know it's OK with Bubblews for people to copy their own own old stuff and leave it on the site.  The last I knew it was even OK to re-post one's own stuff as long as it had x-amount of new, original, material by the author posted with it.  Maybe that's changed.  Maybe it hasn't (yet).  Maybe I'll go to my account and, for one reason or another (maybe even this one) find the account closed.  In the meantime, it's not my plan to close account OR to post stuff on the site that really doesn't belong there.

I've been slow with new posts on there both because I've had other stuff to do and also because I plan to reserve that site for what I think the latest "social emphasis" is with regard to posting/socializing etc.
Other than that, I've deleted a number of things I had on that site, will probably delete more (of one kind or another) and may/may not copy them for my own use somewhere else (or not - who knows what to do with stuff these days anyway).

In keeping with the title of this blog, I suppose one could say that this particular "first-hand perspective" is on Bubblews - or at least on my own Bubblews account.

A Discussion About Mothers and Love

January 4, 2014

This is a three-part post from my Bubblews account and copied here.
Introduction to Original Post 

There's a post by Bubbler, @DavidAaron, that discusses the two different types of love that children need from parents. Rather than leave a long comment on the post, I thought I may as well share my own thoughts on the subject in my own post.

I don't want to come across as if I'm arguing with, debating, or otherwise picking apart what DavidAaron said; because I'm just not. The two types of love mentioned in the post are "mother love" and "father love", and it's made clear that those descriptions of types of love are essentially only labels that describe the type of love, and that they're neither mutually exclusive nor "assigned" to one gender or another.

In any case, the post that inspired my own thoughts here did just that - get me to think (yet again, because this is a subject I think most mothers think about time and time again from the time they become mothers) about the kind of love I have for my children. Since the author of post mentioned the issue of respect, along with the different types of love, I wanted to include the respect aspect of love here too. Since the subject is related to loving my children I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that I've had so much to say that I'd need to divide my thoughts on the matter into three separate posts.

In any case, without intending my posts to come across as giant rants (because they’re not), below is Part I of III – with thanks to DavidAaron for inspiring me to ponder all this (and forget about all the snow and freezing temperatures we’re having) for the last couple of hours. (I’m kind of uncomfortable about the length of the “coverage” of the topic, but a) nobody who doesn’t want to read won’t read all this anyway, and b) I do think it’s a subject worth discussing as much, and as often, as possible.

 Part I

While I haven't misunderstood the use of those labels for the different types of love, I'll admit to find them slightly offensive because they essentially do imply that a more lenient, less "structured", type of love is associated with mothers; and that the more "thinking" and "structured" type is associated with fathers. While I obviously can't write about how a father feels about his children; as a mother, the one thing in which I've always had faith and confidence has been the way that the love I have for my children has - without a lot of thought - quite naturally acted as a foundation on which all the necessary elements of love are built (or else, from which all of those necessary elements grow). The love I've always had for my children is the most whole and perfect kind of love one could imagine, and because it is whole it has all the necessary and important elements that children need. In other words, I do think that children need that kind of whole and perfect love from both of their parents.

Also, I've seen for myself that as much as so many parents may believe they love their child in a "whole" way, or in a way that is the absolutely-healthiest way; many really don't. With regard to the love between parents and child, I, personally, haven't had any ambivalence at all. I had two incredibly loving, incredibly kind and caring, parents who were great parents. There were some things, of course, that they did or said that - really - wasn't quite as "enlightened" as would have been ideal. But, my parents did a good job of raising a kid who had a lot of understanding about the fact that the "best parent in the world" will make one mistake or another; so for the most part, most of those mistakes either of them made didn't affect me much. (A couple or maybe a few did, but more to the extent that my personality was impacted, rather than (again, for the most part) my general mental-/emotional- well-being. (In other words, I have a couple of relatively minor issues that I blame my otherwise loving and well-intentioned parents for. :) ) In any case,

I absolutely, absolutely, loved both of my parents and understood that no parent is perfect all the time.
Years ago I read an analysis of the different types of love that exists in different types of relationships that people have. There were two elements said to be common in all types of love (regardless of relationship) when love was healthiest and whole. Those two elements are respect and admiration. Respect and admiration are things that people can have in less-than-complete ways. For example, one person can respect or admire another for, say, his artistic ability or kindness toward his children. Someone may respect or admire another for his appearance, professional success, generosity, and/or any number of other things; so, again, partial or compartmentalized respect and admiration don't necessarily equal whole and healthy love.

With regard to admiration, I know that I absolutely admired each of my three children just because they were "wonderful in general" (although that admiration had its start when they were at an age when there wasn't much opportunity for them to be anything but admirable (within the context of the young age). As each child got a little older (just as I understood that parents sometimes mess up), I understood that
children sometimes mess up. So, I didn't see their mess-ups as reason not to continue to admire them for the wonderful people they were - for their hearts (although I'll admit that I couldn't help but admire how incredibly beautiful they were looks-wise). Looks aside, I admired them because they were (in spite of their occasional mess-up) absolutely fine people (most children really are, and it's unfortunate that so few people see them that way).

As they grew up I came to admire traits each of them had, so today I admire each of them for things that are theirs alone and part of their unique personalities. When my children were younger, though, I found that it was admiring them that made me naturally want to encourage their bringing out the best in themselves.

As far as respect goes, some people do say that respect must be earned. I say respect must be given to each and every child who comes into this world, because each and every child is an individual person in his own right - no matter how tiny he is, how dependent he is on others for care, or how many times he commits one of the many, common, misdeeds that most children commit as part of being works-in-progress. So I thought it was important to respect my children from the very start, but I also expected them to respect me in return. This could be the kind of respect referred to when we say "all men are created equal". Every human being is a person in his own right and deserves to be respected as such.

A Discussion About Mothers and Love - Part II of III

I believe that respect for a child from Day 1 is one of the best guides parents will ever have when it comes to the big and small ways they make choices as parents. Also, respecting a child does for him what respect does for anyone: It makes him feel more "seen" as a person, and respect more in return. After all, it's a lot more effective to be able to say to a child (or teen), "I don't treat you that way, and you are not to treat me that way either." (When I was a child and an adult didn't seem to realize that I was a person, just like he was; my thoughts were always essentially, "Here's someone I won't be listening to. If he's so stupid he can't figure out that I'm a person just like he is then he's not someone who is smart enough for me to listen to.")

Another important part of love, however, is, of course, the bond that forms when parents care for children, enjoy being with them, and aim to help them enjoy being with their parent as well. Children tend to enjoy being with parents regardless of whether parents aim to be people who are enjoyable to be with; and while the remark I'm about to make is an off-hand one that I probably shouldn't just guess about, I'm guessing that the bond that grows between a parent and a child grows into the strongest kind of bond when parents understand that children need more than just being in the same room, or same car, together; or having a parent help with putting on shoes or getting his laundry clean.

"Unconditional Love"

My own approach to reconciling the two different types of love that have been labeled (inaccurately sometimes and/or incompletely sometimes) as "mother love" and "father love" has not been a matter of separating loving a child no matter what he is or does versus loving him but also aiming to let him know that, as a person, there are some expectations placed on him as far as his character and morality go.

All people (parents, children, whoever else) need to understand that by virtue of its being love, intentionally hurting/harming others means that intentionally engaging in hurtful behavior is choosing to (for lack of better choices of words) "contaminate" or "break" love. It's important to keep in mind that word, "intentional", because we all unintentionally hurt someone else at one time or another.
Another part of the reasoning that I shared with my children was that while children do mess up (and sometimes may even hurt someone intentionally), the rare incident of that kind of bad behavior won't kill love, particularly since children are "just children". But, too many incidents of that kind of behavior will add up, "poke holes in" love, and eventually (in some cases) kill it.

My reasoning has always been that love is only love when it is pure enough not to be contaminated by the "evil" that is intentionally hurting someone else (and, by the way, that "someone else", as far as I was concerned, included me). "Intentional", of course, means the child has to be old enough to understand the concept of hurting someone. One-year-old babies who smack a parent in the face, or take a bite out of the hand that is pushing the shopping cart while the one-year-old rides in the child-seat don't count.

This kind of "structure" to the definition of love not only leaves room for a whole lot of messing up and being loved anyway (in other words, being loved unconditionally). Most children who are loved and know that they are, and a lot of children who may not be so well loved or who may not think they are, do not intentionally hurt others - at least not before they're teens. The younger child who does intentionally hurt others more than, perhaps, a time or two when he stands up to a bully (for example) needs professional help. So, in practice, continuing to love the younger child who has more than once intentionally hurt someone else doesn't have to mean being happy about his troubled behavior. It does mean, however, doing what is the loving thing for him and not washing one's hands of him because he's "hopeless".

So, one way or another, the child who has been raised with the message that the only way to damage or destroy love (whether it's love for him, or the love he has for someone else) is to intentionally hurt someone. It places responsibility for caring for love in his own hands; while also letting him know that he is loved unconditionally and whether he doesn't do his homework, gets acne, gets pregnant, gets himself addicted to some substance, doesn't get into college or doesn't get a prestigious career for himself.
Also, and getting back to respect, respect - like love - is something that should forever remain a given unless the individual intentionally hurts someone else; because respect is part of that whole and healthy love; and respect, like love itself, should only be damaged or destroyed by behavior or words that are the opposite of either love or respect.

 To me, there's no conflict or difference between "mother love" and "father love" because whole love is both, and the only thing that can ever damage or destroy whole love is that behavior which goes against the nature of normal, healthy, human beings regardless of how old they are.

We obviously can't expect young children to know a lot of the things that we know about life or right and wrong or love. Children are pretty young, however, when they are able to first understand what kind of behavior may, for example, hurt the "kitty" or the family dog. When they're only slightly older they're able to easily understand the idea that intentionally hurting someone else (with words or deeds) means that they are not "being a good friend" or that it "isn't nice" or "isn't acceptable". These concepts are the most fundamental concepts related to "being a person", caring about others, and treating those we love in ways that go along with that love.

When my children were old enough to have this type of conversation I did aim to make sure that they knew I'd always love them "no matter what". At the same time, and separate from discussing my love for them; I did make it a point to also talk about how, no matter how much someone loves someone else, sometimes the person who is loved intentionally hurts someone so often that it can erode even the most powerful kind of love. (And, by the way, they were of an age old enough to know the word, "erode"; because one way or another, younger children do (or should) get truly unconditional love (as pointed out above).

I realize that everything I've said here could appear to be one, big, display of how mothers tend to emphasize things like love, kindness, caring and relationships. Not all mothers (or fathers) are the same, of course; but with regard to my own approach to "unconditional-love versus love-with-a-few-expectations/limitations". All is not always as it appears, however, because describing only my approach to the matter of unconditional love is only that; and is not saying that I didn't address or emphasize things such as developing a sense of responsibility, teaching that consequences result from bad decisions or mistakes, setting goals and aims, trying to be the best one can be, or things like the simple reality that getting a good education, being free to live their own life when the time comes, and working toward a career and/or independence or financial independence.

I just made sure that matters not related to kind of love that is shared between two people (regardless of the relationship) were not connected to and/or equated with it.

A Discussion About Mothers and Love - Part III of III

My thinking and experience as a mother has always been that when teaching how to love and be loved (and when letting a child know that he is loved) is done right, a child is generally secure enough to just naturally seek out learning about a lot of those other things. Just to be safe, though, I always made it a point (from the time my children were little until they were grown) to try to teach all of those other things separately from what I tried to teach about love.

As I said before, I don't know how it feels to be a father and to love one's own child/children. I do know, however, that everything I've said above (and a lot of things I'll never say where my children may hear or see them, because hearing or seeing some things just isn't what's best for even some grown-up sons or daughters) are elements to how this mother (anyway) has loved, and continues to love, her children.

If that's how someone out there (or a lot of "someone’s out there") would choose to define "mother love" I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with (and maybe that's just my own ignorance - I don't know) is the idea that there's any other kind of love (like "father love") that would offer my children, or any other children who are loved in the way I've loved my own, different or more than what they've had by being so loved by me (except, of course, in the case of a child's having a father who loves him in the very same way).

I don’t know…. I just kind of wish that the labels used to define the different parts of the same thing (the kind of love that children need from parents) would be replaced with one label, “whole love”; because I can’t help but believe that if a child receives only a little or a lot of one kind of love from one parent, and only a little or a lot of another kind from the other parent; not only will that child not get whole love from either parent, but he may not have a whole relationship with them either. Dorothy Law Nolte wrote, “Children Learn What They Live”. Sons or daughters, if children don’t live with whole relationships they don’t “learn them” either.

Here's To You, Mrs. Robinson - A Different Knd of Triangle

January 15, 2014

A little while ago I ran into a post about a four-year-old child who had been separated from her mother for two years.
The post is by &jg189f, and it reminded me of one experience I had being separated from my mother for a far shorter period of time, and when I was three years old. The situation was different, and I was never a child to yell at my mother (as the child in the above post apparently is), but I thought, maybe, that sharing the perspective that I remember might offer some version of insight into a couple of different angles/perspectives.

When I was three, my mother went to the hospital for kidney surgery for several days (no longer than a week, maybe a couple of days less). The day before she was to come home I knew I'd get to go with my father to pick her up. I had ideas about what a special day it would be, and how we could maybe go to lunch at doughnut shop that was in the city square. (I was three. To me, just being able to have lunch with my two parents, especially my mother, alone would have been special. Besides, I didn't know the difference between a doughnut shop and a nice restaurant at that age.)

I thought about how special a time we'd have together - just the three of us. My mother, always one to be kind to strangers, had offered the older woman who'd been her roommate a ride home. So, as my father and I sat in the car (they didn't let little kids in hospitals then), waiting to see my mother show up with a nurse; I was shocked to see the woman show up as well. My mother told my father she'd told the woman they'd bring her home. I was really angry, and when the woman got in the back seat and my mother said, "This is Mrs. Robinson, say 'hi' to her," not only did I refuse to speak, but I refused my mother's attempt to hug me, as I sat in the middle of the front seat. I sat closer to my father, and my mother kept saying she didn't know why I was "being like that".

Looking back from where I am today, I can tell you that I wasn't angry at the woman. I was angry at my mother for not knowing what I'd been hoping would happen when, after I'd missed her so much, she brought a stranger into the car and was acting as if I was supposed to treat that lady nicely (like a special guest in the car). I suppose I'd expected her to know how much I'd missed her (three-year-old children tend to be very, very, attached to their parents and other close adults; in fact, they're almost kind of " in love with" the close adults in their life).

So, they brought Mrs. Robinson home, and my mother apologized to her for how I'd acted.

I loved both my parents the same way, but unless a child hasn't spent the usual "bonding months/years" with a mother, how children feel toward their mother is different - no matter how much they love their father. That coming-home day meant absolutely SO much to me, that I was angry because my mother a) didn't seem to know that, and b) didn't seem to think it was as special as I'd seen it. I wasn't a little kid who needed attention for me. I had plenty of that. At three (probably close to four, because there were Winter coats involved, and my birthday is Spring), I had just imagined, hoped for, and assumed we'd have some kind of little celebration for this very special, and happy, day.

We went home to have our lunch before my father had to return to work. I think I started to talk again as people started asking things like "What do you want for lunch?". Even then, though, I thought my father should have stayed home for the rest of the afternoon on that - again - day that felt so special to me.

My father hadn't know that my mother was going to spring Mrs. Robinson on him (and me), so he couldn't tell me the night before (in which case I might not have gone to bed so excited about the day I just assumed we'd be having). I was embarrassed at my having imagined such a big deal being made (once I saw that nobody else saw the event as a big deal), so I felt silly (and if I use a more adult term to describe how I felt as well, I felt like a fool). I wasn't able to tell my mother about all the plans I'd imagined, because I was too embarrassed. I'm not sure, at that age, I even knew that I had any right to imagine such plans or to expect more from my mother.

In the car, when my mother had said (in frustration) to my father, "She won't even talk to me," my father said, "She'll be alright." I don't think either of them knew what I was angry at or why. They just (most likely, and based on things they said) seemed to assume that my having been separated from my mother was "the thing". It wasn't the actual separation at all, of course. It was the reunion that was the problem.
Throughout my childhood, when I'd had something bothering me and wasn't able to answer my mother when she'd ask what it was; my mother would say to me, "I'm not a mind-reader. I can't fix it if you don't tell me what the problem is." I can't, of course, speak for all children - on the child that I was at one time - but my thinking was kind of, "If you don't already know then you aren't the person who knows how to fix it anyway."

My mother was a great mother - one of the most loving and thoughtful and understanding mothers a kid could have. She just wasn't quite the "mind-reader" I needed her to be sometimes, when I knew that what I had to say would have hurt her feelings or otherwise sounded "horrible" (at least to a young child).

To this day, I sometimes try to figure out why it was my mother handled that situation as poorly as she did. Did she have too little self-esteem and not realize how much her children loved her? Did she not remember being a young child and how she felt about the mother she'd always said she loved so much? Was she - like so many other adults - guilty of grossly underestimating how much awfully young children are capable of thinking about and/or feeling? Did she - like so many other adults - see other adults as more important than her own child/children, mainly because children are little and adults are big?

I'll never know for sure, because I never explained to my mother - no matter how grown-up I ever got to be - exactly why it was I was so completely shocked and disappointed at what she'd done to my plans for such a special day - especially since that special day was about how much I'd loved her and missed her, and how happy I thought we'd all be to be together again.

Dumb Things People Say To Kids

July 26, 2014

I'm sure I'm far from the first or last to call attention to this particular dumb thing that people say to kids; but I can't think of much else to write right now. Besides, I'm in one of those moods when I just feel like doing some verbal punching back at a whole lot of people in this world for being a) stupid/ignorant, but also b) aggressive.

Anyway, here's the dumb thing people say to kids (or anyone, for that matter; but when they say it to kids it's generally when it can be most inaccurate, even stupid:
"The lie is worse than the thing itself."

Well, think about it! Sometimes the "thing itself" is a whole lot worse than the lie (for one reason or another). There is, after all, some reason your kid feels the need to lie about it.

If you are fortunate enough to have a child who respects you enough not to be able to "just say anything to you, no matter what", who has some healthy boundaries, who worries about disappointing you or making you worry more than s/he knows you really have to; or even - yes - just doesn't feel like hearing you go on and on about something way out of proportion to "The Thing, Itself".... you're either lucky or else have done something right (or both).

The truth is (and don't lie to your child/ren if you want to be a good role model for someone who a) tells the truth, and b) knows how to think for himself and sort out subtle differences in "truths") sometimes, particularly with a lot of the things that kids do, The Thing Itself is way worse than the lie. Sometimes, of course, it isn't. I just think people ought to use their own heads to sort out the difference before making this particular statement. Because, while parents are sometimes so blinded by fear of what will happen to their child, what kind of "criminal" they may or may not raise, losing control over their child's behavior, being embarrassed by a child who makes a mistake, etc. etc. etc.........

Children are most often perfectly capable of seeing past all that stuff that makes parent pass off their own version of lies; and realizing that they can't always count on the information/wisdom their parents believe they're sharing.

An ages-old admonition adults have so often used toward children: "THINK before you speak!" Now that one's not a dumb thing to say at all -- and it applies to parents most of all.

Always Assuming The Worst About Other People (Or SOME Other People)

July 26, 2014

If there's one thing I'm glad that I'm not, it's someone who automatically assumes the worst about other people. I'm not talking about "worst as in whether someone may be an a horrible criminal". I'm talking about "worst" as in "I can either assume the best about someone else (and therefore not get to have my fraction-of-a-second's worth of feeling superior to them AND/OR asserting all my 'wonderfulness' and 'superior-ness' in order to make good and sure that the other person knows s/he is 'clearly inferior''; OR, I can automatically assume the worst about someone and - yet one more time - get to remind myself of how "wonderful" I am.

Here's an example of what I mean: A few years ago I attended a function that involved a lot of walking around an outdoor area where there was grass. I was wearing heels (which was, for me, a giant accomplishment after having seriously injured my leg and having spent a couple of years working on getting it at least mostly working). To this day, I'm putting finishing touches on getting "The Leg" back to "good-as-new". At the time of the function I'm referring to, though, it hadn't been long enough for the leg to be more than a matter of wearing heels "for looks only" (as long as I didn't expect the leg to do a lot more than just be there and don't scream at me too much).

In any case, I was really pleased to have gotten that leg back to where I could actually wear heels and see that with some more time I'd eventually be walking well again. Without getting into details about the complicated injury, itself; maybe just mentioning that, among other things, it involved the lower leg kind of swinging from left to right (as if it wasn't really attached) and causing a whole lot of extreme pain as a result.

So, the fact that I was wearing heels was kind of a secret source of pride for me. For the most part (and in spite of the fact that it was tricky to have an unstable leg have a heel that got stuck in the grass/soil and caused discomfort AND instability), I was doing OK making my way from one end of this expanse of lawn to the other (not without discomfort or pain, but that didn't bother me). Somewhere in the mix of the activity, however, and after making my unstable way around for what I thought was most of the activities; I made the mistake of finding a place to sit down, thinking that the challenge of all that heel-pulling and unstable making my (mostly) gracious way around with everyone else.

Not long after the woman who was "running the program" came over to tell me that particular part of "the program" wasn't yet over. She was a fast-moving, kind of bustling, little woman (not young, by any means) (so am I - that is when I'm not dealing with big, complicated, leg injury). When she took off in the direction that she wanted me to go, and I wasn't able to keep up with her; I thought I would simply explain to her (no details, just a simple statement) that I'd had a serious ligament injury and therefore couldn't keep up with her).

Well, this busy and zippy and snappy little individual quite abruptly responded to the simple statement that I'd made (again, to explain why I couldn't keep up with her and/or why I'd sat down in the first place) by telling me she had heart surgery a few months (and implying that - in all her 'wonderfulness', of course - she wasn't letting something like heart surgery stop her (months later) from making her way around the expand of lawn (in "work-lady" shoes, of courrse - not event-guest heels.

Now, I understood that this woman was working hard; and - honestly - bully for her that she got through heart surgery and was able to work. No doubt, on the "points-for-important" or "points-for-more-serious" scale, this woman certainly deserved "The Prize". Here's the thing, though, hearts are hearts. Legs are legs. Sometimes problems with one are related to problems with the other. Sometimes they're completely unrelated. In this particular instance, this woman could obviously run around an expanse of lawn without trouble. For all I know she could have come close to death when she had her heart problems. Again, she wins the drama points or the "credit points" or whatever points she was going to make good and sure I didn't get (and if not "points", then at least not being "nicely told off" or "enlightened").

While I certainly didn't expect this woman to understand how bad my "leg thing" was, and while I certainly didn't think it was the time or place or person to try to say more to about the leg matter than make the simple statement about my having the injury; it would have been nice if this little jerk (and, I'm sorry... she was being a little jerk) had controlled her own urge (or lack of reasoning ability when it came to sorting out the difference between one medical matter and another) to do "the little put-down thing" of how - even after whatever big, dramatic, and life-threatening medical matter she had; she was making her way so well around the expanse of lawn.

Here's the thing: If a person kind of hopes you won't expect her to keep up with him/her because she has "a leg thing", you either slow down and understand or you don't. Either way, save the little lecture. At the time, I wasn't looking for sympathy or "points" or "credit". I was simply telling this little jerk, who was bordering on impatient with me, why it was I would be slow getting to where she told me I needed to be. I made a statement about a simple fact. She turned it (essentially) into my seeming to want sympathy or thinking my leg problem was as important as her heart problem. Maybe even she imagined that my leg problem wasn't as serious as it was. I don't know, and I don't care.

The point to all this is that if someone makes a simple statement to you about a simple fact, just go with it and take it from there. Don't make up in your own little mind what you think the other person means or wants or "is also thinking" when he makes his simple statement. That's not how logical thinking works.
Here something else: While I know that attitude and thinking and a person's overall nature can't always fend off all medical conditions; I can't help but wonder if being someone who has a nasty and small-minded attitude toward other people; and who likes to, needs to, and or just plain does believe the worst about everyone else (or at least about anyone one, for one reason or another,gets selected as one of the "automatically-assume-the-worse-about" among us) just may send a few too many more people to the cardiac-care ward than might otherwise end up there.

Of course, we can never quite be certain about what is passive aggressive, what is just someone's exhaustion after a long day at work, what's overt nastiness, what may be an attempt to relate but not come across the way it was intended, or any number of other possible misinterpretations of things that can happen.

In this case, however, I'm fairly certain this wasn't a matter of this woman's commiserating with me about a very busy and non-stop kind of event. There was nothing she said, and nothing in her tone, to suggest she was thinking, "Oh, I know... Hasn't this been a kind of tiring day for those of us with some "issue". I'm fairly certain this was more a matter of, "I don't want hear about your stupid leg problem. I had heart surgery x months ago, and I'm managing to run around this lawn like the busy and superior little bee that I am."

Before ending this post I'd like to explain that I've written for one reason: To try to point out to people that they shouldn't be this kind of jerk toward other people. The reason I feel the need to explain that is that over a course of forty years of living as an adult woman, I (like so many other women) have figured out that women sometimes "aren't allowed" to make a simple statement of fact. When a simple statement of fact is made in some kinds of women's voices, and when some statements come from people who look some ways (namely, like a woman); somehow what gets heard is "complaining" (no, "belly-aching"), "whining"; and, of course, the ever-popular "b***ing". And, of course, when someone isn't imagining one or more of those things being associated with the simple statement of fact, sometimes some people will instead (or also) get into the whole "who gets more points for this" kind of competition

The thing is, we can't always understand what, on Earth, happened to some otherwise perfectly nice people that turned them into self-righteous, competitive, aggressive, jerks (at least when it comes to how they treat SOME other people). That's a whole subject for a-whole-nother time.

On Favorite Colors

January 24, 2014

There following "ponderings" on the subject of favorite colors is something I wrote when someone asked the "favorite-color" question on another site. I just figured I'd post it here -maybe because it's so cold outside, and I'm so sick of it, that I thought thinking of something I find pleasant to think about might make a little sense (at least to me).

I don't have one favorite. I have a group of them that are all favorites (if it's possible to have several favorites; and in my case, it has to be, because I pretty much like them equally - over all colors that aren't in this group.

Anyway, it's light cream. That's kind of my staple. That may not be Number 1 at all, though, because light, gray-ish, mauves or else purple-ish, darker, mauves; and pale, purple/violent tone grays are colors I really like. I like SOME tones of pink, not all. I also like some subtle, pale, "off-tone" greens, like light sage.

I guess I like pale cream because it's softer than white but looks clean and light. The others, I think I like because they tend to be the more rare shades of colors that are found in nature; particularly in sunsets or occasionally in sunrises. To me, blues (as in the sky) are common. So are greens (as in grass and trees, although I like some very dark ones). Green that isn't on actual plants/grass, though, tends to really bother me. I can't really explain why I like sage, though. I guess because it's a softer, paler, green that's kind of different "in the scheme of a lot of colors". It's clean and peaceful. Gray with hints of purple: Oceans, rocks, mountains. Green and sky blue are both too common (and too bold for me). I like a lot of the bolder colors of flowers, some fruits, and tropical birds, but only on flowers and tropical birds, for the most part.

I guess I like the sky better than the earth, and those more rare and the colors of those more rare,
beautiful, and fleeting moments of sunsets and parts of sunrises. The gray of the mountains and ocean water, I suppose, (besides being easier on the eyes) I like because they're the more stable aspects of Earth.
I see the colors of sunsets as the colors of dreams and awe; the color of the ocean as grand and expansive and forever; the color of rocks as clean, crisp, and permanent. As for the light cream, I guess I see that as a "default, other, artificial, color" that's not too white, too black, or too bold (like all other colors not in the group I like tend to be).

Maybe I like a balance of Earth, itself; sky (when clouds and sun have been dimmed, blended, and become beautiful), and, of course, the powerful, ever shifting, ever moving, ocean. :) :) Thanks for the question. I'm a little happier just thinking about these things. :) I'm a words/logic person. Those are crisp/sharp/common. I like less common, less bold colors.

'And Then I Don't Feel So Sad' - Finding 'Happier'

February 4, 2014

Someone online asked what others do when they feel sad. I thought my own reply to that question would make a good Bubble.

I have kind of a "Three-Step Plan"

"Step 1" is that I start with just me, rather than focusing on anyone else, or including anyone else.

Whenever I've had sadness I generally try to do something to change what's causing it; and if I can't change what's causing then I think of something happier, or at least think of something that gives me a little pleasure. (Kind of like the song, "My Favorite Things" - and it's corny, but it can work.) It doesn't have to be "raindrops on roses". Strange as it may seem, it could be something like my "smoky lilac" cell phone that I just happened to love when I saw it, and that I still like. Or, it can be something that I love not just because it's my taste, but because it was a gift from someone I love. It might be something like going through a particularly favorite book, or going through my collection of fitness DVD's and finding one that makes me feel like I'm making a refreshing change in routine. I might decide to use the tea-kettle that makes me happy just to look at it, and if I don't use it I might polish it up. I may go through any photographs I have that I particularly love and maybe sort them out; or, I'll take a bunch of new ones.
Generally, I just look for ways to stay in touch, or get in touch, with the things in life that are beautiful and alive.

Something else I tend to do is find something like a television show that I know will make me laugh.

Listening to beautiful and/or powerful music isn't just relaxing (always good for times of feeling blue), but it can have the same effect as thinking about some of those beautiful and/or uplifting/bright things in life.

And other than that... I'll get out, get some fresh air, "re-build" some emotional energy.

"Step 2" is for those times when the blues or the blahs (or worse) last longer.

"Step 2" is adding some nice time with someone else. It doesn't have to be a big, fun, time - just spending some time with someone else (and not particularly talking about having the blues or the blahs, and instead talking about other things).

"Step 3" isn't always a step. Sometimes it's a step. Sometimes it would better be described as a "backdrop of thought".

"Step 3" (step or "backdrop"), is that I step back, look at my whole and overall life, and think about all the meaningful ways in which I'm so incredibly fortunate), whether that's the special people in my life or something else. Then I may think about some of the bad things that have gone on in life, and all the things I've learned from them (not the least of which are what's important in life, and why we should never not appreciate all the ways in which we're fortunate).

Sadness is usually something we just have to get through until there isn't so much of it, and doing the above stuff can make getting through a sad time a little easier (or in the case of long-term sadness like grief, until we get used to living with it, it's older and less acute, and less "all-consuming" as when it's newer).

Of Accents (Particularly Boston), Playing With Words and Other Verbal Challenges

Note:   This post is yet another transplant from my Bubblews account.

After seeing a post on regional accents, I got thinking about my own (Boston, Massachusetts; or at least Massachusetts); and I decided to write a post. As you can see, my post a) turned out really long, and b) isn't really about just accents and nothing else. BUT, by the time I saw how long it turned out to be it was obviously too late. So, here it is. Obviously, nobody who doesn't like a) big, long, posts and/or b) foolishness, has to (or is going to) read this.

Oh... first, here's the post that "inspired" all this "deep thought" about accents (etc.). It's by Sprite1950 (and I'm going there to comment now, by the way).

The Boston accent can be different in some ways yet the same in other ways. I think people whose family roots were Italian have one Boston accent, while those whose families have roots in Ireland or Scotland have different ones. A couple of generations in, and with my mother's family's roots in either Scotland or else going back to Pilgrims (English, of course); and my father's mostly Ireland; I have a Boston accent (no doubt about that), but I don't think anyone has any trouble understanding me at all. Some customer-service guy in CA a few months ago said he couldn't figure out where the accent was from. To further complicate my own accent, though, when my kids were little I made sure to speak very distinctly in order to make sure they heard words pronounced correctly (rather than carelessly).

Then, on top of that, if I get nervous or else if I'm in a hurry I sometimes either think I'm going to say one thing, change the sentence, and end up having an occasional word with a strange inflection. It doesn't happen often, but it happens often enough that it's "a thing" every once in awhile.

So there's all that. Then, too, sometimes I'll just say something in some other accent to be funny or for some other effect. I don't do that often either (and it's a whole different thing from the rest of my real accent; because it's more a matter of playing games (or something like that) with words. Then, too (also in the "games" category) I may just make up a word, or to be funny I'll say, for example, "peets" instead of "pizza" or "Dunks" instead of "Dunkin Donuts". (Of course this kind of verbal fooling around is only something I do in my personal life - certainly not in any business settings.) Oh, and (speaking of Dunkin Donuts), there are words that one of the toddlers/little kids in the family said when they were little; and either it, or a bunch of us in the family just started using the toddler-version of the word (mostly just to be kind of funny - or something). My Dunkin Donuts reference refers to when my nephew was about fifteen months old or so, and when I drove by the Dunkin Donuts sign my little nephew announced in a very monotonous tone, "dones" (instead of doughnuts). My four-year-old daughter couldn't spell "Easter", so when she drew a picture of the Easter Bunny she wrote underneath it, "E. Bunny". So, of course, a few of us in the family have said "E. Bunny" ever since.

My girlfriends little boy used to say, "Beert and Eeernie" (instead of "Bert and Ernie"), while my son (around the same age as my friend's little boy) used to say, "Boort and Oornie". So, sometimes these days I'll say either "Beert and Eeernie" OR "Boort and Oornie". Then again, I may just say, "Bert and Ernie".

(Actually, now that my children have been grown for some time, and I don't yet have any grandchildren, I don't mention Bert or Ernie much these days anyway.)

One of my sons used to refer to a single item of clothing/clothes as "a cloe". (I guess I wasn't always speaking quite as distinctly as I thought I was - at least not when I said, "clothes" in front of my two-year-old son.)

My daughter called ants, "dampts"; milk, "nypt", and her blanket "nah-mee". I don't use any of those other than "dampts" very often these days, but "dampts" is still just a little more fun to say than "ants" - especially during the three weeks in June when a few too many "dampts" seem to make their way under my kitchen door.

Finally (and getting away from the thing about playing games with words just to be funny - or whatever....), being a "very verbal" person (and I mean REALLY "verbal"); I pretty much see words in my head as I think of them; which means that even though some more popular or relaxed pronunciations kind of go with "regular speech" or "common speech" or even just the way I originally learned to pronounce a word; what I'm "seeing" and thinking tends to be the very formal version of the word. That leads me to sometimes almost feel a little (just the slightest, slightest, bit) confused about which way to go when it comes to actually using the word I'm thinking of.

Maybe the real reason for that is that I attended very old fashioned schools with very traditional, old fashioned (and generally old) teachers; so sometimes if I sense that the very distinct pronunciation of a word that I'm "seeing" in my head is going to seem more formal than would be appropriate (as in a casual or otherwise informal exchange), I'll "casual up" my pronunciation of a word that I'd otherwise have pronounced distinctly and "formally". Why do that? Believe it or not, it's my attempt to not-sound like I'm faking an accent other than the one most people around me use. What happens, though, is either some slightly odd pronunciation of just a syllable or word; or else, occasionally, if it seems like it's all going to be too weird that may be when I, say, throw in some "funny" accent just to slither out of all the awkwardness.

This isn't to say that someone I talk with is going to think I'm someone with some kind of speech problem; because between being as verbally-/word- inclined as I am, and the fact that I was born and raised in the Boston area (three generations and more in) I'm pretty skilled at conversation (whether that's in personal exchanges or, say, more formal ones). I don't know.... I suppose the person who isn't at all verbally-inclined, or verbally-inclined enough to make a habit of playing with words (etc.) might not know what to make of it; but since I don't play with words (or say things like "dones" in a business setting) it's easy enough to just err on the side of the more formal (and, I suppose, allow the other person to assume I'm just more verbal or more formal than some people may be).

As far as my inner, personal, circles go... By now most people in that small group either say "dones" or "dampts" too, or at least know where the words come from when I use them. They probably also know that I'm being funny if I say the occasional few words, or make some wisecrack, in some other (but notable) US, regional, accent. As for any other little (but again, not all that frequent) peculiarities that may show up in my speech... God knows who thinks what.

All I know is that (at least for the verbally-inclined, 60's-elementary-school; mothers/aunts/friends-of-mothers; and/or folks who are so comfortable - although sometimes just plain bored - with the English language) sometimes "talkin' just ain't as easy as lot of folks'ld think".

Y'ahl come back now! (Oh....wait a minute. That's from "The Beverly Hillbillies" and has nothing to do with anything. Oops. I don't really know what it came from. Well.... I do. I just thought it might be a good thing with which to end this post on accents, speaking, etc. I guess when I opened some of those "mental-verbal files" it just fell out.)

Author’s Note By the way, you should see what this particular post did to the spell-checker in MSWord. J